Michael Grade calls fine for quota out of date

Ofcom hits ITV for failing to meet London production quota

LONDON -- ITV executive chairman Michael Grade has dismissed as "20 years out of date" Ofcom's decision to fine the broadcaster for failing to meet its out-of-London production quotas.

The regulator described the failure to meet the license requirements as "a serious breach," after ITV failed to meet the 50% out-of-London quota for the second year in a row, spending 45.6% of its budget regionally in 2006 and 44.3% in 2007.

But executive chairman Grade appeared unrepentant.

"This fine is yet more clear evidence that the regulatory burden on ITV is 20 years out of date," he said. "Our duty is to invest as efficiently as possible in U.K. production, not to be an instrument of governmental industrial policy or social engineering."